Aluminium Doors are fast becoming the norm in new homes, including renovations. I decided to put this article together solely based on my 15 years of experience repairing doors, hoping it would provide a good understanding of the pros and cons of these doors. I'll also offer my recommendation.
So why are aluminium doors popping up everywhere? What's their advantage over wood doors? Should you install wood or aluminium doors? I'll give you an honest opinion on my experience .Bifold door repair
Whether you're building a new home or looking to install new doors, you'll most likely consider aluminium doors as an option. If it's a new build, the likelihood of choosing aluminium appears to be a given due to builders already recommending them over wood. Usually, this occurs due to prearrangements with aluminium door and window manufacturers, as they are easier to churn out.
A great selling point for builders recommending aluminium doors over wood doors is maintenance. This decision is like a double edge sword. Yes, you may never need to paint them, unlike wood doors, which need painting every few years to protect them from the elements. On the other hand, it's like a no-brainer because most customers don't want to paint all these wood doors and frames every few years, so let's get aluminum doors; the problem solved. If it were that simple, the reality is that both these door types have their pros and cons, but aluminum doors far outweigh wood doors in being the costliest.
Aluminium bifold/sliding doors are fundamentally riddled with issues because they aren't always repairable. So, what happens if your 7-year building insurance has expired and you discover the doors aren't functioning? It's unfair for the buyer, but unfortunately, there's not much you can do. These doors are not always repairable because parts are not easily accessible, if at all. A common issue is when the frame shifts, causing the doors to scrape together. Components for aluminum bifold doors are generally specific to the setup, and you can't just install any hinge, pivot or carriage, and so on. You'll need the exact parts from the manufacturers. My time dealing with many manufacturers is they prefer to replace the doors rather than repair them, so they will nearly always quote on a new setup/installation as a result, aluminum door systems allow for limited repairs, if any. For example, the system will allow for around 5/10mm of adjustment if the doors are scraping. In theory, it should be enough to fix the issue, but in many cases, it's not. A house foundation can shift over 10mm, whether clay or concrete. I've seen it all. If the foundation moves 10mm, typical in homes, you cannot repair the doors. The door can't be trimmed, chiseled, or plained. That leaves you in a difficult position. Even repairs to a bottom track or a change of rollers are sometimes complex.
We've seen homeowners experience aluminum bifold door problems that we do not wish upon anyone. For example, one owner purchased a relatively new home around a couple of years old. Only to find the doors were scraping and not repairable. To give an idea of the cost, installing a 5-panel bifold door setup costs around $10,000 to $19,000 Another scenario was a builder advised a customer to install aluminum bifold doors instead of wood as they wouldn't ever need painting. The owner paid $14,000 but the doors stopped working suddenly, and the installer was no longer reachable. In my experience (this is a common theme with aluminum doors) the number of installers and suppliers that go under shortly after installing aluminum doors is alarming. If the doors were wood, they might have required painting a couple of times. Painting is low cost compared to installing a new set of doors.
Aluminum Bifold Door Conclusion
A. Painting not required
A. Parts are specific to set up and not always accessible
B. Doors or panels aren't repairable/replaceable
C. Cannot trim or alter door or frame dimensions
D. Hardware lifespan limited (may void after several years)
E. If one door panel needs replacing, this is not possible, you may need to replace the complete setup.
Wood Bifold Doors are fundamentally easy to deal with; as you can imagine, this comparison won't need much explaining. Wood doors and frames are user-friendly and easy to deal with, potentially saving you thousands of dollars no matter the problem. It sounds too good to be true. Myreno door repair can fix these doors in nearly all scenarios. For example, parts are accessible, and all doors and frames can be altered to fit new or alternative hardware. If a panel is scraping and the system isn't allowing further adjustment, we can remove the door/s and trim them down, chisel, sand, and so on. We then reset the hardware to allow further adjustment in the future. This can enable the doors and system to function like new ones. Even if only one panel was damaged, you could still replace it without needing a completely new setup and installation, saving you significant dollars. In worst-case scenarios, if all doors are damaged due to neglect, you can still replace them without needing to replace the frame and hardware, unlike aluminum doors. You don't want to know what some manufacturers advise, even if a single lock or hinge is broken? Yep! a new setup and installation.
Wood Bifold Door Conclusion
A. Part more accessible
B. Doors and panels are repairable/replaceable
C. Can alter door or frame dimensions to suit.
D. Hardware lifespan limited (alternate parts available)
E. If one door panel needs replacing, this is possible.
Need painting every few years.
In the end, wood doors are the better option in the long run. As long as you paint them every few years, they will save you a lot of money and, with some standard maintenance, can last 25/50 years. In my opinion, builders shouldn't consider aluminum bifold doors in homes, or at the least, they should provide a warranty of up to 25 years. This allows the owner to have parts readily available as they will inevitably be required after 3/5 years on average after installation. So, in closing, do yourself a favour and stay clear of aluminum doors in the home.
Aluminium Bifold Doors
Admittedly, we get lots of calls to repair these doors, the chances of fixing the issues are 50/50, so it's a significant relief when successful. However, We've also developed some useful workarounds over the years, so we can let you know the chances of repairs if you're having issues once the inspection is complete.
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